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NASA announces launch options for 2022 student launch competition

NASA’s 2022 Student Launch rocketry challenge will provide both in-person and virtual opportunities for the competition’s culminating event.

The in-person option will include a two-day event, with hardware checks on April 22, and launch day, April 23, in Huntsville, Ala.

If rain is a factor on April 23, a makeup day is scheduled for April 24. Alternatively, Launch Division teams may conduct final test flights at a home launch field, as outlined in the Student Launch Handbook. Teams may also opt to compete in the Design Division. This year’s awards ceremony will be held virtually, after the at-home launch window closes on May 9.

Student Launch challenges middle school, high school, college, and university students from around the United States to design, build, test, and fly a payload and high-powered amateur rocket to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet. Teams also must meet multiple documentation and presentation milestones with NASA experts as they develop their rocket. Teams are scored in nearly a dozen other categories, including safety, vehicle design, social media presence, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics engagement.

This year’s competition will feature a virtual Launch Month in place of an in-person launch week. All teams will be invited to participate in virtual exhibits/tours, presentations by NASA subject matter experts, rocket fair sessions, and a career fair in the weeks surrounding the in-person launch.

The Student Launch management team carefully evaluated COVID-19 conditions and weighed concerns when deciding to hold an in-person event. Procedures and precautions will be in place at the hardware checks and launch to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

NASA’s Southeast Regional Office of STEM Engagement manages Student Launch, one of the agency’s Artemis Student Challenges. These activities stimulate innovation and advance NASA’s human exploration mission through collaboration with educational institutions and students — the Artemis Generation, who will help NASA explore the Moon and Mars. The agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville hosts Student Launch.

For more information about Student Launch, visit https://www.nasa.gov/stem/studentlaunch/home/index.html

For more information about other engineering challenges NASA hosts, visit https://stem.nasa.gov/artemis/

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